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Dowagiac Union High School finds solution to large class size

Published 7:05pm Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Dowagiac Union High School hopes to have found a solution to an issue regarding large class sizes totaling up to 40 students.

High school students have the option of taking advanced algebra over the course of two years, or compacting the class into one year. According to superintendent Dr. Mark Daniel, students who opt to take the one-year course typically do so because they wish to take pre-calculus and calculus in the years following.

This year, the class has 35 students, which is significantly larger than the 27-28 that Daniel said he feels comfortable with.

“We’re asking both our teachers and our students to do more with less,” he said at the school’s board meeting Monday night.

In order to tackle the large class size, the board elected to hire an additional teacher for two days a week and additional tutorial support, which is being funded by the school’s at-risk fund.

Daniel, a former algebra teacher, said the one-year math class is extremely challenging, but it prepares students for higher level math scores on standardized tests.

“We’d love to eventually see two to three sections of one-year algebra,” said Daniel.

Also at the board meeting, the board of education recognized the staff at Sister Lakes Elementary because their students had the highest MEAP scores in Cass County. Sister Lakes also received a Mackinac Center Award based on the results of the Michigan Context and Performance (CAP) report card.

The school will host a celebration for becoming a “reward school” at 9:30 a.m. on Oct. 18.

The VFW Post #1885 also donated 25 classroom flags to be used in Dowagiac Union Schools, as the state of Michigan now requires a flag to be hung in each classroom and the pledge of allegiance to be said each day.

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